The race is on to build the world’s first space elevator. Japan first unveiled their plans to develop a space elevator which would take both cargo and tourists into space. NASA has since announced plans to build their own space elevator, with cable-based space launching expected to be 100 times cheaper than rocket exploration. The proposed elevator would run on a cable between an Earth docking station and satellite space platform, orbiting around 36,000km above the earth. Building a cable to withstand incredible pressure and force is no small feat, says Professor Thompson, who recently co-ran the Space Elevator Technology Session at the 59th International Astronautical Congress in Scotland;

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